As we reported yesterday, the Ministry of Natural Resources will see its fourth Minister in under three years. Effective Monday, June 25, Hugo Patt will move to the helm of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Patt takes over from Dr. Carla Barnett who according to a Government release, had requested to be re-assigned. Today, we asked Minister Wilfred Elrington, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for his views on the reshuffle.
Minister Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Expedite and enhance the service in the Ministry of Natural Resources. My own personal view is that that problem there is beyond any particular minister, it’s a systemic problem, it’s a problem which not only affects the Ministry of Natural Resources but many other ministries. It’s very difficult to get service in country, good efficient, competent service, very very difficult in Belize. This ministerial shuffle is with a view of trying to attain that but to my mind the problem is a huge huge one and it’s not one that we created I remember even when I was practicing law ten years or more ago it was the most difficult thing to get your documents out of the lands department- you had to go through all kinds of hoops.”
The portfolio previously held by Patt will now fall under the Prime Minister. In her new role, Dr. Barnett will take responsibility for Labour, Local Government, and Rural Development. Frank Mena will continue as Minister of State in charge of Public Utilities, Energy, Public Service and Elections and Boundaries.